Port Wings, 21 Feb 2018:
In the build up to Narendra Modi-led BJP Government’s last full-year Budget, senior ministers of the government were telling in every available forum that the new government would accommodate all the concerns of citizens and take care all the aspects before finalizing the Budget.
However, the outcome in the Budget clearly demonstrated that it is pro-corporates and failed to provide even the basic demand of middle class (mostly salaried class) of increasing IT slab.
Besides, the proposed increase in Cess would not only eat into the middle classes’ aspirations to enjoy in luxurious hotels using their savings, but also scuttle their future plans.
Though Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that he is not in favour of burdening the salaried and middle class with more taxes, the very no show to middle class in the budget will have a huge impact on their spending.
Hence, nothing wrong in saying that the Budget failed to provide the needed relief to the Middle Class, who forms the majority of voters in General Elections.
However, the Finance Minister spared common people from price hikes on many commonly used day-to-day items by reducing duties.
On the other hand, the Budget also disappointed the shipping sector, which had been receiving raw deal from the Union government for decades.
Several announcements by the Shipping Minister Gadkari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to equip the desi Shipping sector to compete the videshi shipping companies, fell apart in the budget, as nothing had been incorporated.
No one will dispute that the Shipping sector in our country should have received high priority in the Budget as it represent India’s image globally.
Though there were hope that Modi-led Government would give special package to increase for Coastal movement of cargo and thrust to improve inland waterways, nothing has come out in the final Budget.
Make in India has received a good patronage in the Budget as the Prime Minister is very keen on taking off the mission to reset India’s image globally. However, it needs to see in the larger picture that whether the scheme would culminate in the form intended by the Prime Minister.
Though the Modi-led government haven’t taken its view off the middle class fully, any adverse reaction by them, who forms the major chunk of voters, could even destablise the majority BJP government.